The SW Rating

The Steelworker rating was established in 1948, and drew its initial members from the ratings of Shipfitter (CS) (Steelworkers) and Shipfitter (CB) (Riggers).

The Navy's computerized personnel system associates the rating name with an alphanumeric Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) code. For SW, the NOS is H170.

Steelworkers rig and operate special equipment used to build metal structures. They lay out and fabricate structural steel and sheet metal and work with concrete reinforcing steel bars. They perform welding and cutting operations, read blueprints and use special tools.

Steelworker class "A" school is approximately 11 weeks long, and the school is located in Gulfport, Mississippi. The SW rating requires a 5 year enlistment obligation.

Steelworker (NOS H170)

Steelworkers perform tasks directly related to fabrication and erection of pre-engineered structures, including steel reinforcement. They perform various welding and cutting operations. SWs control job site deployment of materials and equipment, and direct and coordinate the composition, training, and efforts of crews that fabricate, assemble, erect, position, and join steel structural members and fabricated sections.

Steelworkers prepare progress reports, time records, construction schedules, and material, labor, tool and equipment estimates for construction projects. They act as project supervisors and trainers for junior personnel.

Their duties include problem solving, planning, estimating, scheduling, cost control, and personnel management. As project managers, they plan, staff, direct, and control multiple construction projects, and they Ensure compliance with specifications, code requirements, plans, and contracts. SWs maintain individual combat readiness and perform tasks required in combat and disaster preparedness or recovery operations.

Career Sea - Shore Rotation Chart

Steelworker Rating's Sea (SEA) Shore (SH) Rotation (months)
SW 60 58423636/36

Sea tours and shore tours for Sailors that have completed four sea tours will be 36 months at sea followed by 36 ashore until retirement.

Qualifications, Interests, and Working Environment

Steelworkers must be able to work with tools, equipment and machines that require manual dexterity and close teamwork. It is important they be resourceful, capable of doing detailed work and repetitive tasks and knowledge of algebra. Other helpful characteristics are curiosity and a good memory, writing and speaking skills, record keeping ability, good physical condition and stamina.

Normal color perception is not required. Members of this rating are not required to be citizens of the United States.

SWs may work in a variety of conditions, independently or as members of a large team. Their many different duties may be performed in climates ranging from tropical to arctic. Steelworker ASVAB Test requirement.

Opportunities to enter the Steelworker rating are excellent for qualified applicants. About 560 men and women work as Steelworkers in the Navy.

Personnel in the Steelworker rating are paid allowances (BAH, BAS, etc. if eligible) and basic enlisted military pay based on years of service and paygrade.

Credit Recommendations

The American Council on Education recommends the following semester hour credits in the associate and vocational degree programs, 6 semester hours in welding, 3 semester hours in sheet metal design and fabrication, and 2 semester hours in blueprint reading.

An AA of Construction Technology can be earned from Coastline Community College.

Date Page Updated: October 26, 2018.